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Theology Articles

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    My previous posts have looked at several examples of the different ways God interacted with non-Israelite nations. Ken Berding suggested that I compile a list of the non-Israelite followers of YHWH in the Old Testament. Without further ado, here they are.

  • David Horner — 

    How could it be reasonable to base my life on an ancient book (the Bible was written between 2000 and 3500 years ago)? Indeed, how could it be reasonable to base my life on any book? I should think for myself. To live by someone else’s instructions is to surrender my own mind and personality. That approach produces mindless drones, cultists and terrorists. Yet for two millennia, followers of Jesus from every culture and language have followed the Bible as their authority, from simple folks to some of history’s most influential scholars and intellectuals, from poor people with no political power to those in positions of great influence. And the world is radically different as a result.

  • Mitch Glaser — 

    Perhaps the real question our friends are asking is this: “What impact does our faith as Messianic Jews have on our support of Israel?” This is a fair question, and it is a reasonable assumption that most Jews who believe in Jesus support the Jewish state.

  • Michelle Barnewall — 

    I am all for weekends (even when I have to work, such as doing lesson planning, grading, or writing a blog post!). But sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking of work as the negative and leisure or rest as the positive aspect of our lives. Work can become something we need to “get through” in order to make it to the weekend; Sundays are our “spiritual” days as opposed to our “working” days that begin on Mondays, and so forth.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    After six months of on-and-off reading, I have just completed N.T. Wright’s book, Paul and the Faithfulness of God. The book is 1660 pages long if you include the bibliography and indices. (If you don’t it’s only 50 pages long…just kidding.) Here are three things I liked about this two-volume book, and two things that I struggled with.

  • Aaron Devine — 

    A question that naturally surfaces in [the reading of Luke 18:18-27] is whether Jesus considers wealth to be compatible with a life of faithful discipleship. Some interpret this story to say that material things and following Jesus do not mix well. This interpretation is sometimes based on a plain reading of passages like this, but it can also be motivated by material excesses in Christianity that make us uncomfortable. Too much focus on material blessing as a necessary indicator of God’s approval can stifle efforts at legitimate Christian disciplines such as frugality, generosity, and financial sacrifice. As such, divesting material wealth is sometimes seen as a corrective to bad prosperity theology ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    The Canaanite destruction is the major ethical problem in the Old Testament. How can we serve a God who commanded genocide? As we saw in the previous posts on Midian, Amalek, and the Canaanites, the individuals and families who follow YHWH and become part of Israel are on one extreme of a spectrum (the Caleb end), while those who attack Israel are located on the other extreme (the Amalek end). The groups place themselves on the spectrum by means of their treatment of Israel and their attitude toward YHWH. A nation like Edom that neither helped nor attacked Israel would be near the middle of the spectrum, incurring YHWH’s displeasure but not a divine command for extermination. Although a nation like Midian might be placed on the Amalek end of the spectrum, individuals and families from Midian could turn to follow YHWH and place themselves on the Caleb end of the spectrum. In the case of Egypt, an entire nation could move on the spectrum, depending on their attitude toward Israel.

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    The Canaanite destruction is the major ethical problem in the Old Testament. How can we serve a God who commanded genocide? In this post, we will look at the Torah’s presentation of the Canaanites to see how YHWH viewed the Canaanites in the time before the Conquest of Canaan.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    The shortest Good Book Blog entry to date.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    ... Among the unique aspects of early Christianity, when compared to other religious options in the ancient world, are the relationships the early Christians shared across geographical boundaries. The church was a family—not only locally but also from town to town ...

  • John McKinley — 

    For whatever reasons in my experiences and personality, I have often looked forward in life to a better situation: I’ll be able to drive, I’ll be finished with high school, I’ll have a job, I’ll be married, I’ll live in my own home, etc. I find myself sometimes weary of the present because of problems that I have to face today, and I sometimes wish I were already ahead in tomorrow. Not least does this occur for my desire to be in Heaven ...

  • William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, In your debates on the Resurrection, you often present four facts that the majority of New Testament scholars support, namely the honorable burial, the discovery of the empty tomb by women, the post-Resurrection appearances, and the disciples' genuine belief in the Resurrection. While the majority of scholars support these facts, my question has to do with the minority who disagree. For example, John Dominic Crossan has claimed Jesus was buried in a shallow grave, where his body was eaten by wild dogs. My question is this: from what sources do scholars who disagree with the four facts stated above draw their conclusions? The way I understand it, there are very few extra-Biblical sources that discuss the Resurrection, and none that contradict the four facts stated above. And the Canonical Gospels make it very clear that the four facts are indeed what happened. So on what grounds do these dissenting scholars dispute the four facts stated above?

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    A creative series of workbooks for classrooms and churches has recently been released. Following is an interview with the series editor and author of the first workbook, Kenneth Berding. "This series of workbooks is a new and creative way of drawing out the back story that lies behind the writings of the Bible ... These workbooks provide an entryway that will allow you to start uncovering this story for yourself."

  • Mark Saucy — 

    ... I’m all in favor of blood moons (awe-inspiring astronomical phenomenon!), tetrads (rare!), Jewish feasts (our overly Gentilized Church calendars should be more dominated by these—as they are fulfilled in Christ), and apocalyptic (it can be literal too—resurrection is a feature of apocalyptic and we all believe in that one). But put them together in yet another sensationalized, factually crazy, books-flying-off-the-shelf spectacle for the world, and I just shake my head. We’re in the same ditch as those who have no hope ...

  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    The week from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday must have been an emotional rollercoaster for the disciples, Jesus’ friends and family, and Jesus himself. Together they experienced the triumphant celebration of Palm Sunday, the poignant fellowship of the Last Supper, the deep despair of the cross, and the amazing joy of the resurrection. In Ezekiel 37:1-14, Ezekiel has a vision that takes him on a similar journey from a place of deep despair to a place of incredible hope.

  • John McKinley — 

    I’ve begun reading into the topic of women and men in ministry. I noticed immediately that the concept of “head” stands out in the debate between egalitarian and complementarian interpretations. As a metaphor, the concepts and specific applications intended by Paul can be elusive. For help, I turned to an expert on the subject, my colleague, Dr. Michelle Lee-Barnewall. Below are her explanations of four questions as part of beginning to explore the meaning of “headship.”

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Superman is dead… I don’t know when it occurred, I don’t remember the moment that I realized I was mortal. What I do know is this feeling of Fear lurks around every corner like never before. Perhaps it began with a serious car accident I experienced in late 2012 – an accident I walked away from uninjured but my beloved Ford truck was declared DOA. Or maybe it was the diagnosis of medical condition that I did not fret, but soon began to hear random stories of people with the same condition dying of cancer at too young of an age. Perhaps it is the uncertain future of my young adult children, or… The list could continue for all us.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Dave Talley, professor of biblical and theological studies at Talbot, just released the new book, The Story of the Old Testament. He graciously took some time to answer a few questions about the book.

  • William Craig — 

    Hello Dr. Craig, I hope you are fine. I have theological objections to your proposition that an infinite regression of events into the past is impossible. I adhere to a particular Islamic denomination and my denomination doesn't accept the view that it's impossible for there to be an infinite regression of events into the past...

  • John McKinley — 

    I occasionally hear students repeat a slogan in class when they hear me say something that calls the slogan into question, or that directly contradicts a slogan. This is a shock for the students. The slogans are an oral tradition circulating in evangelical churches, a weak catechism of some of our most important beliefs.

  • Moyer Hubbard — 

    This is the second post in a series of blogs dealing with gun control from a Christian perspective. In the first installment (“Seek the Welfare of the City”), I sketched the general theological case for sane restriction on guns, particularly assault weapons, and applied biblical principles to common objections. Now I will begin looking at biblical texts used by Christian gun advocates to support their view that Scripture supports unrestricted access to lethal weaponry for private individuals. In this installment I examine Luke 22:36, where Jesus tells his disciples, “And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

  • Andy Draycott — 

    So we eat. We are dependent on many and ultimately God for the grace of our continued diets. We say grace at mealtimes in recognition of that dependence. For all that, many of us don’t consider that theology has much to do with meals and eating.

  • Andy Draycott — 

    Of course, if you are going to use a lens of food and hospitality to teach theology, you’d better be ready to feed your students. The beginning of semester means a marathon Welsh cake baking session in the Draycott home. In our January intensive Interterm, I get to welcome the whole class to our home for a session of teaching. In regular semester the larger classes don’t allow this. But hospitality then becomes an experiential learning project for the students. Throughout the semester, in groups they will have eaten a meal together and deliberately fasted and prayed together.

  • Andy Draycott — 

    I teach my Theology II undergraduate survey course through the lens of a theology of food and hospitality. Over a few posts I’ll share a number of elements that constitute the overall logic of the class. First, here, I share the formal shape of the class and how I see it fitting with our key concerns as a university. I shall later comment on my textbook choices and other resources that explore the theme. Also to come will be an account of how I frame what the task of theology is for my students through this lens, along with the measure of what I think can be achieved in a class.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I am not particularly enthralled with the spiritual gifts debate that is currently undergoing a renaissance of sorts, via John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference and publications. Been there. Done that. I was a new believer when the same debate was raging back in the late 1970s, and it is a bit discouraging to see the church divided, once again, over a topic that was beat into the ground a generation ago.